2022 WSMA Interim Priorities
The WSMA’s advocacy efforts occur year-round, including during the interim
period between legislative sessions. Interim advocacy takes a different
form than our work during session, mostly focusing on submitting comments
on regulatory proposals, attending and providing public testimony at
implementation workshops, participating in work groups, building
relationships with candidates running for office, and preparing for our
work ahead in the upcoming legislative session.
The following is a look at the activities and issues your government
affairs and policy team dedicate their time to during the interim.
2023 Agenda Outreach
Each year, WSMA’s government affairs team launches an interim advocacy
survey as an opportunity for us to learn about current issues facing the
physician community and to hear from WSMA members on issues they would
like to see us take on in the upcoming session. Your feedback helps
determine what legislation we engage on and how we orient to proposals
that are brought forward.
WSMA members receive our annual advocacy survey to generate feedback on
the issues that impact you and what you want us to focus our advocacy on.
If there's a topic or issue facing the house of medicine that you would
like us to consider in the upcoming session, reach out to WSMA Director of
Government Affairs Sean Graham at
While legislative sessions are usually the busiest time of year for your
government affairs team, during the interim is when state agency
rulemaking season ramps up. Passed legislation may require rulemaking for
implementation, which you can read about
here. Your policy team monitors and engages on rules impacting the house of
Below are activities your policy team is working on this interim.
Rulemakings initiated by the 2022 legislative session and carryover
rulemakings from previous sessions:
Office of the Insurance Commissioner
Seeks to align the state’s Balance Billing Protection Act with the
Federal No Surprises Act.
Redefines what constitutes an “established relationship” for the
purposes of insurance coverage for audio-only telemedicine services.
Department of Health
Upon completion of additional study and training requirements
established by the Department of Health in rule, allows midwives to be
granted a limited prescriptive license extension to prescribe, obtain,
and administer antibiotic, antiemetic, antiviral, antifungal,
low-potency topical steroid, and antipruritic medications and therapies,
and hormonal and nonhormonal family planning devices.
Establishes the health care profession of “birth doula,” nonmedical
birth coaches or support persons trained to provide support during
labor, birth, and the postpartum period.
Increases the pool of patients eligible for charity care and establishes
rates at which discounts apply.
Modernizes language pertaining to the Washington Physicians Health
Program to ensure confidentiality for those who access the program for
reasons outside of substance use disorder.
Expands the scope of practice of emergency medical technicians to
include providing “collaborative medical care” within the EMT’s training
Department of Social and Health Services
Establishes the Apple Health and Homes program, which would provide
supportive housing benefits in renewable 12-month periods for
individuals enrolled in Medicaid and receiving community support
Health Care Authority
Establishes a prescription drug affordability board at the Health Care
Revises state law pertaining to health care boards and commissions.
Office of the Insurance Commissioner
Rulemaking was initiated to adopt reporting requirements regarding
access to next-day services to ensure enrollees are receiving vital
services for the prevention of suicide.
This rulemaking was made permanent on April 11, 2022 and takes effect on
May 12, 2022.
Department of Health
Rulemaking is required to consider creating model rules establishing
minimum standards for health equity continuing education programs for
health professions licensed under
Title 18 RCW. The WSMA provided comment to the Department of Health requesting that
the number of hours of health equity continuing education be determined
by the secretary for secretary professions and that relevant boards and
commissions decide the number of hours for non-secretary professions.
The WSMA has policy on
that has helped guide our advocacy efforts.
The rulemaking process is addressing revisions to seven sections of
medical assistant rules, including telemedicine supervision
requirements. The WSMA provided feedback to the Department of Health
clarifying that supervision requirements should be determined by the
supervising physician’s or health care professional’s clinical judgment
in consultation with the medical assistant and the patient’s medical
Rulemaking is underway to establish the selection and appointment
process for nonelected members of local boards of health.
Washington Medical Commission
Current rulemaking includes the consideration of creating an exceptional
qualification waiver for international medical graduates pursuing a full
medical license, as well as the creation of a time-limited clinical
Labor & Industries
Ambient heat exposure
The rulemaking process is considering occupational health exposure
hazards from high ambient temperatures in all industries, including
outdoor and indoor exposures.
Board of Naturopathy
Nonsurgical cosmetic procedures
Rulemaking is set to expand naturopaths’ scope of practice to include
nonsurgical cosmetic procedures, including botulinum toxin, dermal
fillers, and other inert substances, without stipulating additional
education requirements or training. The WSMA shared feedback with the
Board of Naturopathy requesting that it rescind this proposal due to
significant risk of patient harm and the absence of requisite education
Other activities your policy team is working on this interim:
Submitting comment letters or providing testimony on rulemakings the
WSMA is actively engaged with.
Working with resolution authors and staff on the preparation and
organization of policy proposals for the
2022 Annual Meeting of the WSMA House of Delegates.
Participating in and providing feedback to the
Health Care Cost Transparency Board.
Sharing comments on relevant sunrise reviews at the Department of
Health, a process which examines a health profession’s scope of practice
for possible expansion.
Creating guidance documents reflective of current or new policies and
practices as resources for WSMA members.
Midterm elections will take place this interim and there are more than 100
seats up for grabs throughout Washington state. As a result, much of our
work will revolve around interviewing and connecting with candidates
running for the state Legislature. We’ll also spend a good amount of time
developing our legislative agenda for the upcoming session.
The following activities are among those your government affairs team is
participating in this interim:
Debriefing on the outcomes of the 2022 legislative session in WSMA’s
Advocacy Council webinar.
Building relationships with statewide candidates running for election or
reelection in the midterm cycle whose priorities align with the house of
Raising awareness of WSMA’s nonpartisan political campaign arm, the
Washington Medical Political Action Committee (WAMPAC).
Preparing WSMA’s 2023 legislative agenda. Reach out to Sean Graham at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a topic
related to the house of medicine that you’d like to see included in our